Back to the Pitch

It’s that time of year again.

Back to the pitch.

Two of our three kids are playing this season.

So thankful my wife played the game and is willing to coach. She’s a natural. She’s a teacher already; this gives another outlet for her skills, insights, and energy.

It’s also a welcome comfort, I think, for our kids to have Mom out there with them.

Funny, beautiful thing for me.

Beautiful that we’re all out there as a family; our 8 year old is going to help wrangle the players and demonstrate a little; I’m the logistics guy.

Looking forward to a good season, and supporting the team and our kids in every way I can. Meeting some new people in our community will be good as well.

And all along the way? Having fun as a family, having fun on the pitch!

“By the pricking of my thumbs…”

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” This phrase comes from a novel by American writer Ray Bradbury, who first published the work in 1962.

I read it 19 years later, when it was assigned reading in my 9th Grade Literature class. It had a big influence on my perspectives as a creative work, and furthered my early interest in writing as well. Though I’m not a big fan of fantasy / horror stories overall, this particular story had the right blend of both, and in sufficient measure, to stick with me long
after I’d finished reading it.

It was AWESOME.

I read a post that it would have been Ray Bradbury’s 99th birthday yesterday.

In honor of his memory, I wanted to give a quick shout out to this great creative voice, one of the writing influencers in my life. I don’t think about it too often these days, but he is certainly one that helped light a spark in me to write and be creative, a fire that still burns on inside today.

Seeing the post yesterday included the artwork I’ve included here and linked to another Bradbury novel – The Halloween Tree — more reading to do now. Joy!

Finally, as I was reading about Bradbury after seeing the original post, I’m inspired to do more of what he did: write everyday. That’s what I’ve tried to do off and on — currently on — throughout the years. Striving to create and especially to share inspiration.

Bradbury reminds me that it’s a good idea to just create without sharing too…that not everything needs to be shared straight away; it’s a good reminder that it’s the creating itself that is the magic, the therapy, the goal.

So here’s to Ray Bradbury, Happy 99th ~

if you want to read more about him, there’s a whole lot to learn, a great writer, a great man.  Read more here.

More on “Something Wicked…” found here.

Illustrations above by Joseph Mugnaini from The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (1972)

 

 

 

 

Fix The Ear

My son got a toy mouse last weekend. Really to be more specific, it was a cat toy that looked like a mouse.

Not long after he got it — maybe fifteen minutes — he tied to take the tag off the toy; the tag was attached to the little ear; the little ear pulled out when he pulled on the tag.

“Sigh”, I thought. “Hope I can fix it”, I thought further. And when We got home, after a while, after taking care of some other things, I sat down to fix the little ear on the little toy mouse. Miraculously, I was able to nudge it back in, tucked in securely, almost good as new. Good enough for my son anyway, it turned out.

The lessons? Simple as they often are, they still resonate for me in my life stuffed with big things and little things to do and fix.

Something not to your likely?  Give it your best effort to change it.  Need to fix something?  Try to figure it out.  You might surprise yourself.  Want to try something new?  TRY SOMETHING NEW.  Just Do It, as the Nike campaign promoted all those years ago.

Go Forward. Make adjustments and corrections, do the next thing, keep learning, keep going forward, help others, GOOD.

Let’s RUSH

I’ve had a forty-year love affair with the Canadian progressive (?) rock band, RUSH.  They were one of the first bands I sort of “discovered” on my own through the radio.  RUSH was also the first band for which I looked “back” to earlier albums, when I had caught up on what they had released in real time.  I listened to whole albums over and over and over again, like so many teenagers did at the time.  Like they still do maybe, even in this era of digital music and single song access.

It was a love affair with Rush.  It still is.

I’ve seen the band maybe ten times in my life; nothing like true “fanatics”, I suppose, but I still consider myself a RushHead (a play on the famous musical fan term, “DeadHead,” for fans of the Grateful Dead).   I once traveled to their hometown of Toronto to see them play live, at the Molson Amphitheatre.  It was EPIC.

So after 45 years of music, the trio — Bass/Vocals Geddy Lee, Guitar Alex Lifeson, and Drummer/Lyricist Neil Peart — have pretty well hung it up.  That was actually announced last year.  So make that 44 years together.  And make that 19 studio albums.  And make that 11 live albums.

As summarized so succinctly in Wikipedia, “The band released its eponymous debut album in March 1974. Since then, they have achieved 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush’s sales statistics also place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band.”

The love affair will continue, even if they have ceased playing live.  In fact, I’ll be seeing the latest iteration of the band’s music and performance history in a “one-night only” movie viewing tonight (Wednesday, 21 August), when I go with a couple buddies and my brother to see “Cinema Strangiato”.

Will have a follow up post to share the experience and further celebrate maybe the longest continuous musical relationship I’ve had.  THANK GOD.

Indulging is GOOD, when you’re into the right stuff.

 

 

Even More Respect…

I’ve always respected single parents and the Herculean efforts it takes to keep their family together and on the right track. My respect was “at an arm’s length;” that changed recently.

A few weeks back my wife went to a conference out of town. She was gone for four nights.

Since it’s summer time, our kids weren’t in school. However, they did have YMCA Camp to keep them busy during the day while I was at work.

My routine the four work days my wife was gone looked like this:

* get myself ready for work;

* get the kids up and ready for camp;

* drop off the kids at camp;

* go to work;

* pick up the kids at the end of the afternoon;

* go home, make dinner, eat dinner, help every with bath or shower;

* help them get to bed; get myself to bed.

* repeat.

Overall it went pretty well. But I certainly had some moments of struggle. I think I put the following tweet up around Tuesday:

It’s not all peaches and cream. I’ve about had it with Number 2 and the *NIGHTLY BATTLE TO TAKE A F*CKING SHOWER. :-/

Ok, now back to the regularly scheduled GOOD. #dadlife #dadslife #parenting #alwaysworthitnotalwayseasy

Not proud of the implied profanity, but it conveyed my level of frustration at that bath-time moment halfway through the week.

 

Guest Post: “Ain’t got time for the summer time blues…”

One of my old college friends recently posted the following story on his website.   Yet another good example of taking that lemon, and making lemonade…or finding the good in a bit of a disappointing situation, or just flippin’ coping with how life goes sometimes.

Steve Debenedetti Emanuel, LMFT, and all around good dude.  Dad, Husband, Coffee Fanatic, and a Therapist, too; bright and thoughtful, his only downside is he’s a Dodgers Fan.  And Lakers.  But other than that, GOOD.

: – )

Check out his post, soak up the sublime insight, and wander his site a little too. 

#worthit

Ain’t got time for the summer camp blues

stevedbe_2019

Friday, Saturday, Weekend Good

I saw a classmate from grade school on Friday night. During the course of our conversation, she told me she reads my blog. She mentioned too that she could tell by some of the posts from time to time that “something was going on.”

That is good insight from an old friend and person I greatly admire and respect.

True enough, I do periodically (frequently?) write in a bit of a vailed manner. It’s an approach that allows to process and share thoughts on a given topic that might be otherwise too close or personal for me to write about directly, with a lot of intimate, maybe revealing detail.

In this post I’m happy to write in a very direct way.

It was FANTASTIC to see my old friend. Every time we get together (which doesn’t happen very often given the distance), we cut to the chase quickly to life events.

Super grateful for the time with her. Super grateful for our friendship. Even if a long LONG passes, we pick right back up and get current.

And then the next day, our family met up with another family who we hadn’t seen in a long while. My wife grew up with the woman; their family has two girls and a boy, just like us.

Though we hadn’t been together in a while, we settled into easy conversation pretty well immediately. And our kids played together like they were old friends too. It was another AWESOME day.

So I’ll say the obvious:

it’s friends and family that make the difference in life happiness. If you have that foundation, whatever the configuration, consider yourself blessed, consider it GOOD.

To top it off, the mundane and magical too on Sunday:

  • National Women’s Soccer League game on as laundry get’s completed –
  • Science experiments with a microscope to explore the world –
  • More chores around the house, we all gotta do ’em –
  • The highs and certainly lows to of kids’ behavior after sleeping in (sleep much needed) –
  • A sense of keeping up, catching up, which in turn lifts me up, a bit more –
  • Some work for Grammy –
  • Errands to load up for the week ahead –
  • A breeze blowing through the front screen door, cooling down the house –
  • Dare I say, looking forward to the week ahead…?   🙂